(a message to business leaders)

My English Channel swim coach Marty McMahon, didn’t need to remind me that my Channel swim would be a long, grueling day. I was ready for that!

For more than two years I prepared myself for the mental as well as physical rigors that would be required of me on “game day”.

The month before I left for England, Marty said something I had never considered. “Keep in mind, the only people that your swim will be harder for (than you) is your crew, your family and those that care about you back home.”  (Okay, so pretty much everybody)


Yeah he said; “Once you jump off the side of the boat, your training will kick in. Your brain, your body will lock on to the mission at hand and your singularity of focus (getting to the other side) is all you will think about”!

On the other hand he said;

Your crew will be there for just YOU! They will be staring down at your fat ass all day long, crawling along at a snail’s pace while the jerky rhythm of the boat swaying side to side will make for a nauseously exciting good time for each of them”. (Yikes)

I had never stopped to consider how difficult the day would be on my crew or those at home until that moment.

He said; “Whenever possible look for ways that you can lift the spirits of your crew.” He also reminded me not to complain, to use humor at my feed breaks and remain upbeat to the best of my ability".

I did my best NOT to forget!

Loretta Cox and her husband Geoff stood like sentries at the port deck rail all day; always keeping vigilant watch over me like two Shepard’s with a flock of one.

Every now and again (even in hour 13) I’d let out a “Yahooooo” or a HeeeHahhh” mid-stroke without ever disturbing my rhythm. Many times as I rotated to breathe, I would give my crew a salt-watery smile or shoot them the thumbs up signal letting them know I was doing great even though at times it was a stretch from how I was actually feeling. My crew would send “He’s doing great”” reports via text back home and those simple messages comforted my wife, children as well as many others that watched over me that day.

Each time I sent a positive gesture to the crew, they would reciprocate in kind. In fact, I received more than a thousand times the affirming whistles, cheers, muscle poses, silly faces than I ever gave. The more I tried to give positive affirmations to my crew, the more they kept coming back to me. Their caring, supportive gestures are the reason I did as well as I did that day.

I was reminded once again that day that you can’t give love away because the harder you try, the more it keeps coming back to you.

The take away is this….

If you are a business leader, sales-manager, coach, mother or father. The lesson is simply a reminder to consider “Your Crew”.

Today and every day, I encourage you to look for every opportunity to affirm the value of each member of your team. Despite how difficult your own day may seem, I promise you others may have it even worse. Your recognition and appreciation will provide dividends beyond measure. Shoot them a thumbs-up, share a warm smile or simply tell an associate how much you value them as part of your team.

I can promise you this, the more support, love and encouragement you try to give away, the more it will just keep coming back to you. It just works that way!

Doug "Clydesdale" Comstock is regarded as an authority on the topic of mental toughness. He is an award winning, inspirational speaker and coach on the topics of mental toughness, high performance and excellence.                  

Comstock is a former Alaska "Deadliest Catch" Commercial Fisherman, two-time finisher of the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon and Black Belt team member on the US Intersport Karate team to Russia and Poland. In August 2015,   Doug attempted a solo swim crossing from Dover, England to Cape Gris-Nez, France across the famed English Channel regarded as the Mount Everest of open water swimming. He swam 19 miles in 13 hours and 20 minutes before terminating his swim two miles  from the French coast because of injury. 

Comstock is the founder of "Getting to Goal" seminars and coaching, delivering high performance coaching and speaking programs to aspiring individuals as well as corporations in the areas of mental toughness and sales performance excellence.   

Speaking and Media Inquiries; Dc@GettingToGoal.com or860-970-3250

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